Currently redesigning my life, again.

1 01 2011

I am currently redesigning my life, again.

What’s happened in the past is that I have written all my inspired ideas on pieces of paper and put them in a book. Occasionally I would take out that book and re-inspire myself by looking at the entries.

That’s great and I love doing it but it doesn’t really go anywhere, there’s no forward motion.

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Who do you work for and who do you help?

10 06 2010

Help others
Now I thought I wanted to help people. I thought that all I wanted to do was make people happy. Well, I’ve done that and I’m not happy.

Why would I not be happy helping people? Well, perhaps because at the moment I’m not actually helping people at all!

First a bit of background..

I never really wanted to work in retail, it was all a bit scary and busy. But needs must and there I was in my first retail job, in a record store. I found I actually liked helping people, when I was never really interested before.

In the small way that you do in a record store it made me happy to help people. Likewise with the ski instructing, the cabin crewing and the cafe work. But it never took long before the magic went and I needed a change.

Pondering recently, the lessening interest I currently hold in helping others, it stuck me that I actually wasn’t doing it at all. I wasn’t helping them, I wasn’t even helping myself!

To all those who work in retail…….I reckon that we’re all sadly mistaken if we think we are helping the customer. The customer is being helped by the owner of the company and YOU are helping HIM.

That kind’ve threw a dark rug over my bright altruistic thoughts and may explain why in a retail job I tend to last about 5 months feeling bright and happy and then have to find little shafts of light in my work to help prop up my feelings.

Where did this come from?

On a flight back from Turkey the other week I wandered over to give a man some sage advice on how to help his young child stop crying. Never mind that what I thought the boy was crying about wasn’t at all what he was actually crying about! As I got down on one knee next to his seat all the old cabin crew feelings came flooding back. I felt truly altruistic, warm,caring, peaceful and giving. These are the feelings I enjoy and I wasn’t even being paid for it!

Where were all these feelings in the retail stores I worked at? Oh they were there all right. Right up until the point I got my first pay cheque. THEN I remembered what it was all about!

I thought I enjoyed giving help to people but have I actually been doing that? Perhaps being paid by someone to help someone else is not actually helping. Perhaps that’s bribery?

So I feel only feel happy helping people when I am truly giving to them, not getting something in return for it, helping the old lady cross the road so to speak.

Helping yourself

I guess I have believed for a while that the aim of the game is to help ourselves first. I have tried to find the magic inside me and then somehow help others to experience is too. But it’s not just about that now. It’s about my whole life. And I am so much closer to nailing the ‘holy trinity’ of how I want to live:

Who I work for
Environment I want to work in
Type of people I want to work with (and how I do)

The results of this are showing. See my Dilly the Dog and Holly the Daydreamer posts below for the results so far.

Now, would anyone like help with a writing project?


‘Where the needs of the world and your enjoyment intersect, that’s where your work lies.’

For the warriors, remembering who we want to be.

5 09 2009

Recently I have been reading pages upon pages of articles about making money on the internet and of being your own boss.

I am interested in the other side of life, the non-conformist route to living. That route which takes me away from 9-5, takes me away from spending the majority of my waking hours sitting uninspired in front of a computer monitor earning money for someone else.

When we talk about the industrial revolution we talk of poor working conditions, of slavery like pay and hours. We believe its gone away, as if it’s somewhere in the past. Is it really?

Perhaps if you work uninspired behind a computer in a dimly lit, cave-like, office, you might like to think about whether that belief is true.

As I write these words a feeling of shame pervades my system, as if I should take those almost inflamatory words back. But I won’t, as I know that feeling is born of the need to conform, to apologise for the way I am and what I feel.

Well, I won’t do that. And I won’t listen to the people who tell me I should either. They are not my friends.

What I will do is point you towards places and people you can read about and listen to. People who have chosen to leave the ‘new industrial revolution’ to live a life that they themselves dreamt up.

This is fast becoming a passion of mine. And I am not alone.

Here’s a starter for you. Chris Guillebeau has an uncommon perspective on working life as he has never worked a ‘normal’ job. Embracing the possibilities the internet has to offer to communicate with people, he decided to live the way he wanted to, tell people about it and help them to do similarly, but importantly, only if they want to.

He sounds like a great guy, check out his site (subscribe to his blog, it makes some enlightening reading)…oh and download his pdf’s, they’re a great inspiration.

The Art of Non-Conformity


I want the world

1 09 2009
I want the world

I want the world

What if I didn’t own a car?

25 07 2009
1994 1.6cl Excellent condition, 99,200 miles

1994 1.6cl Excellent condition, 99,200 miles

If you didn’t own a car would you feel like a social outcast? Somewhat different from the rest of society?

I am preparing my car for sale, contemplating what it will feel like to be without one for the first time in 15 years. I am, on one hand, looking forward to it and on the other scared.

I suppose I am scared because the car to me is a method of obtaining a slice of personal freedom, or holding some control over my course in life. Not having one might mean I feel cooped up, or have to resort to the sheep like mode of transport that is public.

As with many things in my life, what I believe to be true is actually completely the opposite (thank goodness!) so in reality it will probably mean I will feel free-er than ever and might even improve my fitness levels (bike and walk being the new modes of transport).

Anyway, I secretly enjoy being different to most people. So if you see a cyclist speeding past you in a queue. Only to find him arrive at work at exactly the same time as you (whilst you have been sitting in the normal Monday traffic jam), be assured he is smiling as he locks it to the stand, safe in the knowledge he is not one of the crowd.

Selfish Behaviour?

12 11 2007

MeThat’s it, working for other people officially sucks.

I have decided to do something for myself for a change.

My jobs over the recent past have been focused on trying to get a balance between helping others and helping myself at the same time (a typical Virgo issue). Or a balance between what I think others think I should do and what I want to do (I wrote that sentence and still had to read it twice to make sense of it!).

Anyway, as yet, life isn’t quite how I want it. So now its all about me.

“It’s a strange thing about life, if you ask for it, you will usually get it. What are you asking for?” ~ unknown

Stuff working for others i want to work for myself, be self directed.

I have tried to find something I can enjoy and which will give me a lifestyle want and I have found many things which were close, but not quite the cigar I was looking for.

It doesn’t help that if someone said to me
“So Andrew, what lifestyle DO you want?”.
I would probably have a million answers.
Hence why I don’t trust what anybody else advises me to do, their advice can’t take into account my ever changing moods, need, wants and desires.

Thinking about it for a mo’ I guess then my answer to the question would be..

“I want life to be a constantly changing experience, one which is different day by day”

..which is really what I AM already doing.

“The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit.”

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

Anyway, back to work…Work i do during the day for someone else is just to fill in time whilst i develop the other things i enjoy. Day-work for others it is the stuff i do to earn the money i require to live and eat whilst my brain ticks over the other options constantly making plans and inventing ideas.

So, if some bloke wants to pay me good money to sit on a helpdesk and answer phone calls in order that I can a) Paraglide b)Ski c) start my on business d) play guitar etc. then great.

For now, I have decided to go back into IT. I will probably earn about £16,000 as an IT helpdesk bloke, with no particular aspirations to go further than that. But is the absolute minimum I need to live in this country. Then I can go about ordering my life around the pursuit of happiness.

[Edit: I actually didn’t go back into I.T. , I followed my heart and went to work in a Ski shop!  Andy, 2009]

Its what the last 6 years have been about really, finding out what makes me happy.

Back then I may have thought that work alone was meant to make me happy…(and I still am on the pursuit of work which does)…but now have a more balanced view. So I am now going after things outside work which make me happy and lets see if any kind of work comes out of that.

What Work?
For work to make me happy I need to do something which is personally meaningful, which is a self-directed force, an outpouring of my creative ambition, something which is an expression of me. I can put my heart and soul into it, I can focus and give my full self to in the belief that it is where I was meant to be.

Seek out that particular mental attitude which makes
you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which
comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me,”
and when you have found that attitude, follow it
~ W James.

And people, remember…

The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves“. ~ Brian Tracy

Thanks for listening.